Club Workout

by Tanya Cromartie-Twaddle / photo by Vince Bushell

There is a neighbor in our ‘hood shaking things up…shaping up things that shake! You can’t miss her. Alicia Ramos is the dynamic owner of Club Workout, an all-women’s fitness studio. Club Workout is a space that welcomes women of all ages, backgrounds, shapes, and sizes. Unlike many commercial facilities, this spot offers a close-knit, family atmosphere. Alicia keeps it real. Ladies can wear whatever they choose to work out in. Pajamas, ratty sweats…forget about a fashion statement. “I teach for everyday living…I work out because I want to feel good, because I want to make it up those stairs. It’s like a family here, like my home,” she says. You won’t find the glamorized hype of the fitness world here. The humble studio is located near Bremen and Clarke Streets. There is no sign on the door; just the initials CW. Inside, the licensed fitness instructor has everything a woman needs to work out. Fitness guru Donna Richardson watches over the group from a framed autograph picture on the wall. Alicia and Donna have networked together and continue to inspire one another. Alicia offers circuit training, body sculpting, low impact aerobics, and is also certified in stretching, kickboxing, rubberized resistance training, step-strength, and breathe-stretch-relax techniques. She is also a DJ and loves mixing all of her own workout tapes. Whew! And it doesn’t stop there. The fitness family takes field trips to fun fitness events — namely, “Workout in the Park,” an outdoor fitness festival convention sponsored by Self magazine, with proceeds benefitting breast cancer research. Alicia supports several health initiatives and encourages her students to do the same. She has been working out since the age of twelve. “My aunt used me as a fitness buddy. I liked it,” she says. Alicia was overweight as a child, and when she started winning fitness challenges and meeting her goals, she was hooked. Alicia has continued to win numerous awards and fitness challenges as an adult and was inspired to teach after a conversation with well-known fitness instructor Michelle Lemay. Alicia is now a “fitness buddy” to many women. She was an honored fitness mentor for MPS students through Best Friends, a youth development program. Riverside High School and Washington Park High School have benefited from Alicia’s instruction as well. She has even taught corporate and senior fitness. But get this…this is not her “work.” Alicia does this for fun. “If I wasn’t in the studio working out, I’d be at home working out anyway!” She keeps her fees low so that fitness support is accessible to any woman who needs it. This buddy doesn’t let you cheat, ladies. She’s watching all the time during a routine. So complete that dumbbell curl and do every sit-up! “My goal when I’m teaching is to make sure everyone can follow the routine and have it down by the end of class. Ha! Everybody thinks I’m not looking!” So what is her work? HAIR! She styles hair, cuts, curls, perms, dyes…the works. And she currently spends her days styling hair for senior citizens. I asked this vegan hair artist why she chose Riverwest as home for Club Workout. “There are a lot of creative people working together here–people are into their minds and bodies,” she says. Her studio was briefly located within Bliss Studio on Bremen Street, where she shared space with photographer Melissa Miller. Alicia appreciates the diversity in the neighborhood which is reflected in her class makeup. She offers these words of inspiration to women struggling with body image and health: “Take it one day at a time. If you fall off your routine, there is always tomorrow. It takes years of dedication to see real change…it does not happen overnight. Remember, you have to strengthen your mind so that you can reshape your body!” For more information on Club Workout, women can contact Alicia Ramos at 962-9848 or stop by the studio for one free workout at 829 E. Clarke Street. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 10 – October 2003